BORING PHOTOGRAPHY

masterclass work, 2020

CONTEXT

For the last five years a few students from different European universities are invited to Gent in Belgium for a masterclass with a renowned designer. This years’ Maarten Van Severen Chair was given by Glenn Martens, famous Belgian fashion designer and appointed Creative Director of Y/PROJECT.

The task was to produce a photograph of a random object, but to change its appearance/perception/purpose with the use any creative means imaginable. The limitations were to not change the object itself, only use photography for the final picture (even the use of photoshop was heavily discussed), and the object had to be in the picture.
CONCEPT

When everybody was going off to build new sets for their objects to change their original context, I harvested the bland backside of the shard and tried to approach the project from a different angle. Instead of making the object, the colourful shard, the centre of attention, I put the focus on the scene around it. But again, instead of going the obvious way and diverting the viewers attention to something more interesting on the photo, I wanted to trigger the feelings like “What the heck am I looking at?” or “What am I supposed to look at?”. So I took it as a challenge to take the most boring pictures possible. This turned out to be very difficult indeed, not only because my photographic eye aims to compose an interesting image automatically, but also because every viewer comes with their own preconceptions.

It’s hard to say wether I succeeded or not, but the most interesting and surprising learning I took out of it was that it is really difficult to shoot boring images on purpose.